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article imageNo more smoking Greeks, smoking bans takes effect July 1

By KJ Mullins     Jul 1, 2009 in Health
There will be no more smokers lighting up in indoor public areas in Greece as a new law goes into effect Wednesday, July 1. According to Greek Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos smoking kills 20,000 Greeks a year.
There are an additional 700 deaths a year in Greece blamed on second hand smoke.
Panagiotis Behrakis, the Director of the National Steering Committee for Tobacco Control, said:
“Definitely what will happen is that the climate will change, people’s perceptions around what smoking means will change and the average Greek will start to be troubled with the concept even more.”
In Europe Greeks are considered the most passionate about their cigarettes. Almost half of the population smokes. Going to work doesn't clear the air for Greeks either with six out of ten people being exposed to cigarette smoke at their jobs.
reports that past attempts to ban smoking have not gone through. Perhaps that is the fault of the citizens in Greece.
One man in a café in Athens said: “I would rather stay home with friends and have a drink if I can’t go somewhere where I can smoke. I think this will create a crisis with the businesses, if the law is enforced of course.”
The new law not only is putting a stop to indoor smoking in public places, minors will no longer be allowed to buy tobacco products.
Managers are some locations will be allowed to have separate smoking areas as long as they are separated from the premise with ventilation systems in place.
Those who break the law will face fines from $700 to $28,000.
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